HWANGE Colliery Company (HCC) has been quizzed in Parliament for allegedly buying expensive vehicles for management at a time the coal producer was struggling to settle $70 million in wages arrears.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Company board members led by Ntombizodwa Masuku appeared before the Temba Mliswa (pictured)-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines where MDC-T legislator Fanny Chirisa (PR) questioned whether management was concerned about the plight of workers and their families.
They have been petitioning for more than 100 days over unpaid wages dating back to five years ago.
Currently, the workers were said to be working two weeks in and two weeks out, a situation which has seen them earning half salaries (50%)
“Is management really affected by the plight of the workers, who have not been paid and the women who have been sleeping outside the HCC premises petitioning? Has the board ever tried to address the women because children are also being affected as their fees go unpaid,” Chirisa asked the HCC board.
But, Mliswa said although it was important for the company to settle the outstanding salaries, the dispute was between the workers and HCC and not the women.
Mliswa added: “When the committee visited HCC to see the petitioning women we found very expensive vehicles parked at the HCC and they were said to be vehicles for members of the management. This shows that while workers are suffering the management are living large. Now that you have put workers on two weeks in and two weeks out to the extent that they are now earning 50% of salaries, does the same situation also affect management?”
Masuku said everyone in the company including management and the board members were on half salary.
“The two weeks in and two weeks out also affects management and I can say that we do have the welfare of workers at heart. We are doing everything possible to ensure that workers are given their due benefits. Management also gets 50% salaries and board members get 50% board fees,” she said.